Social networking in the aging context: Why older adults use or avoid Facebook

Eun Hwa Jung, Justin Walden, Ariel Celeste Johnson, S. Shyam Sundar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations

Abstract

Despite a growing body of research about older adults’ use of social networking sites (SNS), scholars have not fully explored how this technology is meeting this group's interactional and information-seeking needs. How do these older adults view this technology? What are their communication needs and expectations and why are they drawn to it? To address these questions and fill a gap in the literature, this study draws upon in-depth interviews with 46 older adults (average age: 80.4 years) about their perceptions of Facebook, which was the leading SNS at the time of writing. Analysis of interview data revealed six primary reasons for using Facebook (keeping in touch, sharing photos, social surveillance, responding to family member requests, convenient communication, curiosity) and six primary reasons for not using Facebook (privacy, need for media richness, preference for familiarity, triviality of communication, time commitment, frustration with site tools). Emergent findings hold implications for future research and SNS design.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1071-1080
Number of pages10
JournalTelematics and Informatics
Volume34
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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